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The GAO reviewed certain maintenance activities at the Air Force to identify where information technology can benefit agencies in terms of economy and efficiency. The review suggested ways to improve Air Force maintenance information management, as well as the Air Force information management program.
The GAO found that the Air Force spends millions of dollars on data collection and reporting systems which have questionable value. The GAO noted that recording errors have often resulted in inaccurate reports and figures from the Air Force's Maintenance Data Collection (MDC) system, and managers are often reluctant to use this system or the systems it supports because of the known inaccuracies.
The data inaccuracies raise questions about the need for much of the maintenance data collected. The Air Force is testing an Automated Maintenance System (AMS) that has the potential to improve maintenance data collection and indications show that it will improve data accuracy and completeness. However, current plans by Air Force commands could result in unnecessary expenditures for separate AMS type computers. Despite these efforts, no significant improvements have been made to improve the maintenance data collection process. The GAO concluded that the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 provides the framework for effectively managing information-related activities and, although the Air Force has begun to implement the Act's objectives, more needs to be done.